• Straight Talk
  • What a busy, exciting, and rainy week in CCSD!  It is hard to believe we are nearing the midpoint of the first quarter with progress reports set to go out in just 10 short days.

    State Assessment Results

    The first part of the week started with the South Carolina Department of Education releasing the results of the South Carolina Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (SCPASS) and South Carolina College-and Career-Ready Assessments (SC READY) from the 2021-2022 school year. Overall, our students outperformed the state average in all assessments encompassing science (grades 4 and 6), and ELA and math (grades 3-8). 

    To dive a little deeper, nearly 52 and 53 percent of students scored “Meets Expectations” or “Exceeds Expectations” on the SCPASS and SC READY ELA assessments, respectively, which were both close to six percent higher than the State average and four percentage points higher than the District’s scores last year. 

    For SC READY Math, close to 49 percent of students met or exceeded expectations, which was almost 10 points better than the state average and a two percentage point increase from the district’s scores last year. I am very, very encouraged by these results. It is only through the amazing work of and support for students by you–our teachers and leaders–in collaboration with families that we could make these strides.

    However, there is still much work to be done, particularly in the area of middle school math as district averages for meets and exceeds were all below 50 percent. As mentioned in the last two messages, together we will continue to establish high expectations for students through engagement with parents and families. We will also work together to identify what students need to know and be able to do as they enter and exit each grade level; I’m excited that work began on this effort just this week..

    15,000,000 Minute Challenge

    In the second part of the week, as we celebrated National Literacy Day on September 8, we  announced the launch of a new online reading platform called Beanstack. Beanstack allows teachers and students to log their reading and compete in district and school-based reading challenges. The tool not only supports Vision 2027 of all students reading on grade level by grade five, but it also supports the district’s 15,000,000 Minute Challenge that began on the first day of school. 

    In the 15,000,000 Minute challenge, each individual has a reading goal and each school has a community goal based on the number of staff and students. The Charleston County Public Library (CCPL) also added Beanstack so communities can have challenges in addition to schools. In a huge effort to support students and our reading goals, our friends at CCPL have given all CCSD students a library card and account (no physical card needed) through the L2 program. More information will be shared with students and families next week on how to register for a free account using their CCSD usernames and passwords.

    I’m participating in the 15,000,000 Minute Challenge as well. I’ve been sporting my “Ask Me What I’m Reading Button” in celebration and support this week. Next time you see me, please stop and ask! I just finished The Personal Librarian by Heather Terrell and Victoria Christopher Murray.

    Collaboration with the City of North Charleston

    Lastly, I ended the week by meeting with City of North Charleston Police Chief Reggie Burgess. Chief Burgess and I discussed the importance of our collaboration in order to strengthen literacy rates, decrease crime, and contribute to an improved quality of life for all. I’m looking forward to defining a more robust plan alongside him and our City of North Charleston partners on how we work together to enhance community.

    As we look to next week, the Board will begin its series of community engagement sessions around goals for the district. We invite everyone to join one of the Board’s many community engagement sessions over the next two weeks. A schedule will be shared early next week. 

    We look forward to connecting and collaborating with you on how we set high expectations for our students while establishing standards for student outcomes.

    Regards,

    Don